Posts Tagged ‘karen matheson’

Karen Matheson – Urram | Album Review | Top of the World

Posted on December 2nd, 2015 in Recent posts, Reviews by .


Words by Robin Denselow

(2015) Karen Matheson - Urram Cover

On which Gaelic songs meet African and Indian music

Karen Matheson’s first solo album of exclusively Gaelic songs is remarkable for its unexpected and surprising musical settings. Matheson has long been recognised as one of Scotland’s finest singers, thanks largely to her work with the group Capercaillie. Her husband and long-term colleague in the band Donald Shaw (also celebrated for his Celtic Connections work, of course) is the producer here, and plays piano and accordion. There’s no novelty in all-Gaelic albums these days, thanks to the great Julie Fowlis, but Shaw guarantees that this is very different to any of Fowlis’ albums. It starts with a waulking song (a work song, traditionally sung by women as they beat tweed) with backing provided by piano and fiddle from that fine multi-instrumentalist Matheu Watson.

Then the surprises start. The second waulking song is given an African flavour thanks to delicate kora (harp-lute) work from Seckou Keita. Then there’s a Scottish reel with an Indian edge, featuring the sarod (Indian lute) of Soumik Datta, who also plays on the charming and drifting final love song. Elsewhere, the backing includes a string quartet, who feature in Shaw’s setting for an African lament on death and famine, and bluesy guitar on a satirical song from Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. An adventurous, classy set.

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New issue (Dec 2015) on sale now!

Posted on November 6th, 2015 in News, Recent posts by .

Songlines Dec 2015 (#113)

Fado singer Mariza; Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux; and Finnish accordionist Kimmo Pohjonen

The December 2015 (#113) edition is on sale in the UK from today. The free exclusive 15-track covermount CD features ten tracks from our latest Top of the World albums and a guest playlist by jazz musician Courtney Pine.

This issue also comes with bonus CD, West Africa at the British Library, which includes 15 free tracks featuring unique recordings made between 1909 and 2015 from the British Library’s sound collections.

Featured on the Top of the World CD are new tracks from Cape Verdean singer Lura, Italian duo Ilaria Graziano & Francesco Forni and Turkish collective Kardeş Türküler.

• Mariza – Gonçalo Frota talks to the fado singer about her new album.
• Ana Tijoux – The Chilean rapper speaks to us about her discovery of hip-hop.
Sweet Liberties – Julian May gets a history lesson from singers Maz O’Connor, Nancy Kerr and Martyn Joseph.
• Kimmo Pohjonen – Fiona Talkington discusses the Finnish accordionist’s ability to reinvent himself.
Karen Matheson – Tim Cumming speaks to the Scottish singer about her personal solo project.

• Beginner’s Guide to Béla Fleck.
• My World: A playlist and interview with jazz musician Courtney Pine.
• Postcard from Romania.
• Introducing… The Gurdjieff Ensemble and Lynched.
• Spotlight on Hazmat Modine.
• Quickfire: Buhlebendalo Mda, Tigran Hamasyan and John Baily.
• What’s New, including the ethnographic film Nanook of the North; Battle of the Bands winners Don Kipper; On Their Own: Britain’s Child Migrants, and the latest reissues from the Syliphone Conakry record label.
• Reviews of the latest CD, book and world cinema releases.

Buy the new issue here.


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New issue preview: December (#113)

Posted on October 23rd, 2015 in News, Recent posts by .

SL113_NewsletterHorizontalwebMariza’s World; with the release of her first album in five years, Mariza makes sure fado is not a limitation

Other features include Finnish accordionist Kimmo Pohjonen, who we speak to about his latest album Sensitive Skin; Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux talks to us about how she was able to develop a true identity for her life and music; Karen Matheson speaks about her personal solo project; plus the latest CD, book and world cinema reviews to get stuck into.

The issue’s Top of the World covermount CD includes brand new tracks from Mariza, Lura and Ilaria Graziano & Francesco Forni, plus an exclusive playlist from jazz musician Courtney Pine, who talks about his life-changing musical encounters and the music that still makes him feel good.

This issue also includes a bonus CD, West Africa at the British Library, which includes 15 free tracks featuring unique recordings made between 1909 and 2015 from the British Library’s sound collections.

The issue is on sale in the UK from November 6. Click here to purchase your copy now.

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